Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The ATM that can diagnose your symptoms...

So, I am huge fan of finding new ways to implement technology to make our lives easier, provide us quick and easy access to information, and enable us to connect with others in real-time. Well, in this installment of iWeb I stumbled upon a post titled: "Diagnosis From A Kiosk" - http://tinyurl.com/cmaekg.

This excerpt in particular caught my attention, as Mass General Hospital has found a way to improve our healthcare system leveraging wicked technology:
Massachusetts General Hospital is developing this computerized kiosk that physicians hope can help bring some relief to the healthcare system. The kiosk will be able to track a patient's medical history, weight, pulse, blood pressure, and other vital signs. It'll even perform simple blood tests for glucose and cholesterol. The Project is a small Windows computer with a few attachments -- a blood-pressure cuff, a scale, to start. The goal is to decrease the wait time at doctor's offices and the time the doctor usually needs to assess your problem.

Yet, as novel as the concept is, it also has me thinking that it could further exacerbate a well documented condition; cyberchondria (i.e., I think I read somewhere that something like 9% of all doctor's office visits are from people who have conditions like hypochondria).

To be able to pick up quick vitals like cholesterol levels from a kiosk sounds kind of cool, and the mere fact that the technology is in place to pull this off sounds like a good way to reduce hospital wait times, etc., but it also sounds like a good way to have people who already over self-diagnose get pushed a little too close to the edge. Therefore, without careful monitoring of machine usage and the people who are actually using them has me a little concerned for the general public's well-being. But, with monitoring comes a huge privacy concern. Heck, the machines itself sound like a privacy concern...

So, digitally - this tech is totally cool in my book - but it's also a little concerning on the same note... What do you think? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is the US finally getting it - "Mobile Marketing"

I recently returned from a one and a half year stint in the UK and was overly amazed as to how progressive agencies and marketers alike were leveraging mobile marketing as part of their integrate marketing communications programs... Well, I stumbled upon this article and thought to myself, hey, maybe mobile marketing is finally coming of age in the US. I know the likes of Google and Yahoo! have tried to figure out ways to embed their ads into mobile browsers, and Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T are certainly notorious for trying to monitize everything you do with your mobile device...

So, back to that article: "Mobile Marketer's Mobile Outlook 2009" http://tinyurl.com/dl2ywl.

With the ubiquity of smart devices (i.e., Apple iPhone, Samsung devices, touch-screen Blackberry's, and Google's Android operating system and mobile enabled HTC devices), it makes sense that US consumers are becoming much more familiar and confident with receiving information on the go. WiMax is certainly on the horizon, 3G is getting better and better, but just how the heck do you successfully integrate mobile into your marketing programs or your client's communications strategies???

A point raised in this article, that I totally agree with is as follows"

Marketers must remember that mobile cannot, and must not, be treated like other mass mediums out there.

Mobile is a highly personal channel, with attendant sensitivities and double opt-in permission requirements.

So, how do we proceed from here? I have come up with a few neat implementations for clients that aren't pervasive or overly sensitive when it comes to the end-user's privacy concerns, but just how far along are we and how far could we go with this medium...

Discuss if you wish...

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Pod Hotel Goes Social...

First and foremost I have to say that I have always been impressed by the folks at Organic. They are pretty good at staying on top of their game and I frequently read their blog. Their latest post, "Connecting with the Traveler Staying in the Room Down the Hall" - http://tinyurl.com/czr6tu, really piqued my attention because I am all about all things social.

So check this out, a social network, specific to a hotel, that pre-connects travelers so they can hook up and hang out when staying at The Pod Hotel. Kind of like a really cranked up, or should I say, it is a really cranked up version of a utility like TripIt that makes a lot of sense, IMO.

Think about it, if you're a road warrior you'll certainly know why this makes sense, but if you're heading out on that business trip, all by your lonesome, or perhaps someone else you know is staying at The Pod when you are, but just don't know it, you could totally plan out to meet up, grab a drink, etc.

Brilliant in my mind, yet so simple. Read on, though, as Organic does question how The Pod has spread the word about this social utility that they launched back in January. So, discuss... Neat idea, or not? Neat implementation of a social utility, or not? Giving you any neat ideas for a client project, or not? Just my 2 cents.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Can you back up your interactive prowess???

I stumbled upon this blog entry recently and it made me scratch my head a bit: "How Can You Advise Clients On Social Media If You Don't Use It? " - http://tinyurl.com/c4my2t. The context of the post assumed that the employees of top interactive agencies should have robust LinkedIn profiles to justify how interactive savvy their agencies are... Thus, if you don't have a robust and active LinkedIn profile, how can your agency claim its interactive prowess, especially as it pertains to social media and utilities...

Now, I thought to myself, ad agencies are made up of all sorts of people and LinkedIn, and other social utilities, are only frequently used by people who have the intention to do so, whereas other people just use them because it's easy to upload your address book and connect with other people who happen to subscribe to that social network.

Do you think this makes sense? I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Are you - as an employee of an interactive agency - someone who doesn't heavily use LinkedIn or other social utilities, measure up as a strong barometer of your agency's ability to perform as a top interactive shop, and even more so have the ability to succeed in social media planning??? Discuss...